Some Light Counterspin

Since the post-election commentary, ranging from blatant spin and ax-grinding to real analysis from this or that perspective, is getting pretty deep, I figured I’d add some more comprehensive thoughts in one place, mainly aimed at the busting of some instant myths. You probably won’t read anything I haven’t said at some point or another here at PA, but my TPMCafe column does try to put a lot of it together.

My basic conclusion is that the 2014 midterms were to a considerable extent a slightly less decisive (in the overall vote, that is, not necessarily in the consequences) replay of 2010, and that the “two electorates” hypothesis is now the dominant reality of U.S. electoral politics and will remain so until one party or the other “breaks serve.” It’s possible something else is going on under the surface, and both parties would be wise to accelerate efforts to reach beyond their current base. But Democratic prospects for the immediate future went up rapidly the moment this election ended, just as Republican prospects went up rapidly right after Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat, as I noted here on November 9, 2012.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.